What Was the B7 Audi RS4 Like Back in its Day?

As Audi enthusiasts, it’s easy to get lost in the nostalgia of classic cars, forgetting the rose-tinted glasses we may be wearing when looking back on them. One of the most beloved driver’s cars in Audi’s history is the B7 Audi RS4, for a number of reasons. But what was it actually like to drive back in its own day, what did enthusiasts and journalists think about it back in its day, without the benefit of nostalgia?


Top Gear recently re-released its review of the B7 Audi RS4 from back in its day. And even without rose-tinted glasses, Top Gear seemed to think the B7 RS4 was damn good.

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It all started with the engine, a 4.2 liter V8 screamer. No turbos, no superchargers, no mild-hybrid system — just pure, naturally-aspirated V8 power. It also revved past 8,000 rpm and made an insane, delicious noise. It made 414 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, which was almost as much as the original Audi R8 V8. Except it was in a four-door, all-wheel drive sedan with a six-speed manual transmission. Back then, 0-60 happened in 4.8 seconds. Admittedly, that’s slow by modern standards but it was quick enough back then.

B7 Audi RS4 Avant


However, what really made the B7 Audi RS4 so special was the way it handled, especially when compared to the standard S4, which wasn’t exactly beloved back in its day. “The RS4 proves what can be done. The steering isn’t just quicker and more detailed, it’s lighter too; almost as delicate as an M3’s, even.” said Top Gear in the 2005 issue.

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Fast forward to today and the B7 Audi RS4 is still held in such high regard. Whenever a new RS4 debuts, it’s compared to the B7 generation. Now, though, after reading just how good it was when new, we know that it’s not just nostalgia that makes us feel that way. It was actually really flipping good.


[Source: Top Gear]
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.